Miami continues its pursuit of starting pitching in advance of the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline, although the Marlins reportedly don’t have the prospects necessary to land a top arm.
About half of the league is hoping to add a starter before the deadline, and with Drew Pomeranz being dealt from San Diego to Boston, there is one fewer starter to choose from.
Here is everything we know about Miami’s search as of Thursday morning.
Marlins among most aggressive teams seeking pitching
Miami has been one of the most aggressive teams this summer, according to Joel Sherman of The New York Post. While they’ve been aggressive, the Marlins also have one of the league’s worst minor league systems.
The Marlins and Orioles are possibly the most gung-ho of the group, but also viewed as having the least desirable prospects.
The Marlins’ clear desire to upgrade their staff isn’t notable, since the club is competing for a Wild Card spot. Miami has been linked to different starters since the end of June, so the interest hasn’t changed.
Miami enters play Thursday four games behind the Nationals in the division, and a top starter might help the club gain ground quickly. The approach could become more aggressive with the deadline just days away.
Marlins ‘desperate’ to add another starter
Miami is “desperate” to add another starting pitcher, but one club executive doesn’t know how they’ll be able to do it with their farm system, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
The #Marlins are "desperate'' to add a starting pitcher, says a rival exec. But it's a major challenge with so few prospects to deal.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 28, 2016
"Unless Jeffrey Loria packages in a couple of pieces of art, I don't know how they're going to make the trade,'' the exec said of #Marlins.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 28, 2016
The return of Dee Gordon and Justin Bour will help #Marlins offense. But Wei-Yin Chen's elbow injury makes need for a starter more acute.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 28, 2016
Wei-Yin Chen’s elbow injury does make Miami’s search for starting help more significant, although he struggled before being placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Working with one of baseball’s worst minor league systems, the Marlins might have to part with one of their top prospects in order to add a rental starter. With Jose Urena and Jarred Cosart having success in their most recent outings and Justin Nicolino lingering in Triple-A, the Marlins might be hesitant to do so.
Since the Padres received a top pitching prospect in the Pomeranz deal, the market has been set. If buyers are unwilling to part with major prospects, teams might keep impending free agents on their rosters and make them qualifying offers this winter.
If the Marlins are serious about adding another arm, they might have to part with Josh Naylor.
Marlins still in on Andrew Cashner
Miami is still interested in Padres starter Andrew Cashner, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Sources: #Orioles trying hard to get Cashner. Not necessarily front-runner; #Marlins, #Rangers still in, possibly others.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2016
Cashner, who has pitched to a 4.76 ERA and 4.94 FIP over 79.1 innings this season, is also an impending free agent.
Miami is also interested in Jeremy Hellickson, but the Phillies reportedly want a top five prospect. Hellickson is also a rental option.
The Marlins have also been linked to Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore, Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Ervin Santana, Miguel Gonzalez, Ricky Nolasco and Hector Santiago.